You write both contemporary and historical, what do you like about each era when writing? Do you prefer one?
I love both – my ideal way to work is to alternate between the two because it keeps me interested, and hopefully, keeps my writing fresh for my readers. Historical is more of a challenge because of the research and the need to get the accuracy right. I tend to write about the emotions rather than the events of the Victorian era for fear of getting things wrong! I use the social etiquette, costume and political aspects of the age to add the Victorian ‘flavor’, but it’s all about the characters really and emotion is the same whatever the time or era.
When writing, do you outline or plan, or do you wing it?
I start with a 2-3 page outline and character sketches for the hero and heroine (also the villain if I have one) and then write the first draft from start to finish without looking back. Drafts two and three are where the hard work comes in!
What do you hope readers will take away when they read your books, what reaction are you aiming for with your stories?
A satisfying and moving romance – the reaction I want is from people is for them to feel happy at the end of my books; to care about the characters and think about them long after they’ve finished reading. I want them to believe in real love and that all-important Happily Ever After.
Does your family read your books?
My mum and mum-in-law do but my husband doesn’t – my daughters are 17 and 15 and the eldest has read one, but I think the love scenes put her off reading any more, lol! Hopefully, the youngest will ask sooner or later for one to read - watch this space!
Do you have a preference for ebooks or print books?
I LOVE print books and nothing makes me happier than browsing for hours in a bookshop, but I also couldn’t be without my Kindle. Books are my passion and I love them in every format.
If you could be a character in a book – lead, sidekick, heroine, villain, etc. – what would it be?
It would have to be the heroine – I live vicariously through all my heroines. I love their journeys and really believe in everything they do.
If you could have dinner with any author or authors, who would they be and why?
Nora Roberts – and hope she shares her secret!
Margaret Mitchell – why didn’t she write a sequel?
Jodi Picoult – so I can tell her I want to write like her when I grow up J
What is it about romance that attracts you to the genre? Do you think you will ever write in a different genre?
I love romance because it makes me feel good when I’m writing – there’s enough heartache and evil in the world and I think romance provides the ultimate escapism and leaves the reader feeling hopeful. What’s not to like?
The only other genre I’m drawn to but haven’t attempted yet is crime – As I write more and more romantic suspense, the need to write a police procedural or mystery is getting stronger.
What do you like best about writing? Your least favorite part?
Best and easiest part for me is dialogue – I find it really liberating and more often than not, it feels like I’m taking dictation when my characters are interacting. My least favorite part is plotting and the dreaded ‘sagging middle’. Every book I write, I reach the 40,000 word mark and everything just grinds to a horrible halt. The only way to deal with it is to write through it and hope I can make something of the chaos on the next draft.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I watch FAR too much TV! Especially love British period dramas and US crime dramas.
What are your favorite genres to read? Any favorite authors?
Romance, crime and historical are my favorites – from each genre, Nora Roberts and Robyn Carr for romance. Tess Gerritsen and Tami Hoag for crime and Philippa Gregory and Jean Fullerton for historical.